South Korea’s president said Trump “failed” when it comes to North Korea and its nuclear weapons.
“He went around the bush and couldn’t make it,” Moon said of Trump.
Trump has met with Kim Jong Un on denuclearization several times, but North Korea retains its arsenal.
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a new interview with the New York Times that former President Donald Trump “failed” on the issue of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“He went around the bush and couldn’t make it,” Moon said, referring to Trump’s efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
During his single White House term, Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un several times to discuss denuclearization. His interactions with Kim were historic: Trump was the first incumbent US president to enter North Korea.
But when Trump left office, the rogue state hadn’t given up on a single nuclear weapon. North Korea also continued provocative missile tests.
Though critical of Trump’s efforts on North Korea, Moon in his Times interview urged President Joe Biden to engage with Pyongyang to succeed where his predecessor failed. Moon stressed that denuclearization is a “matter of survival” for South Korea.
“I hope Biden will become a historic president who has made substantial and irreversible progress towards complete denuclearization and peace settlement on the Korean peninsula,” said Moon.
In late March, the White House said Biden is unlikely to pursue a face-to-face meeting with Kim, even though the president has signaled he is open to diplomacy with North Korea.
Trump criticized Moon for his comments on Friday in a statement.
“Kim Jong-un of North Korea, whom I have known (and appreciated) in the most difficult circumstances, has never respected the current president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in. I have always been the one to stop the aggression against the South, but unfortunately for them, they are gone, “said Trump.
The former president went on to say that Moon was “weak as a leader and as a negotiator, except when it came to the continuing, long-term military hoax of the United States (as is the case with many other countries we protect!)”.
Critics of Trump said his meetings with Kim helped legitimize one of the most repressive leaders in the world, offering virtually no advantage to the United States or its allies.
Trump’s relationship with Kim has been controversial and has baffled foreign policy experts. Early in his presidency, he exchanged numerous threats and insults with the North Korean leader from around the world, sparking fears of a nuclear war. But Trump’s tone changed dramatically in 2018 ahead of his first summit with Kim. For the rest of his time in office, Trump repeatedly showered Kim with praise and called him a “friend”.
Trump’s friendly behavior towards Kim, who retains power largely through a concentration camp system, has often led to criticism in Washington and beyond.
In a recent interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump defended his relationship with Kim.
“When I arrived, President Obama said … ‘the biggest problem we have is North Korea. There will be a war’. There has been no war, we got along very well,” he said. Trump to Hannity. “[Kim Jong Un] he writes me letters. I like it, he likes me. There is nothing wrong with that. “
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